Plan to relocate Highway 50 around Stateline unveiled
A plan to relocate Highway 50 at Stateline with five lanes along Lake Parkway Boulevard behind Harrah’s, MontBleu and The Village Shopping Center (formerly Crescent V), while converting the artery through the casino core into three lanes with both thoroughfares reconnecting at Pioneer Trail in California has been announced by the Tahoe Transportation District
“The specific benefits are major safety and environmental improvements, economic vitality, and an enhanced community and visitor experience with reduced congestion,” said Tahoe Transportation District Manager Carl Hasty. “It will be part of an integrated regional network that strategically and logically connects transportation into an efficient system throughout the entire South Shore.”
The new roadway through the casino core is planned for one lane in each direction and a turn lane from Lake Parkway at Stateline, past the casinos to Pioneer Trail. A reclassification from federal highway to local street status would provide for area control. Highlights include a landscaped median and turn-pockets at major driveways and intersections along with expanded sidewalks for outdoor restaurants and pedestrian areas along with a dedicated bike lane, a concept embraced by the South Tahoe Association of Resorts in the recently announced South Shore Vision Plan.
The new U.S. 50 alignment near Pioneer Trail would require acquisition of right-of-way from private property owners and state-owned land from Van Sickle Bi-State Park along Lake Parkway and Montreal Road, displacing some existing residences and businesses southwest of The Village Center.
The district and lead agencies have initiated a relocation assistance plan that will include individual, door-to-door residential meetings to explain possible relocation scenarios, to provide assistance and review eligible compensation. Tenants are guaranteed options to include housing quality at current standards and could be entitled to certain moving and replacement housing costs.
“While there are strict relocation guidelines in place including on-site interviews to inform tenants and assess needs, impacts are of a personal and individual nature,” said Hasty. “We plan to exceed the requirements with regularly updated information so people can make the most informed decisions and be as comfortable as possible with their choices.”
Homeowners and business property owners in the area have been contacted by mail about the project. Under the Uniform Federal Act, owners of residential or commercial properties are notified. District representatives asked landlords to notify their tenants immediately and will reach out to renters and business managers to deliver fliers door-to-door to inform them of the project.
The district will also have a local outreach representative in the community. The district’s website and other sources of information will be regularly updated on the status of the proposal.
The project will provide a dedicated highway versus busy street traffic through neighborhoods with families. It may also allow for renovation of City of South Lake Tahoe properties as a source of housing for impacted tenants, thereby increasing the South Lake Tahoe tax base and improving neighborhoods with attractive, modern housing.
Several alternatives for the realignment have been considered over the past 10 years to address severe summer and winter peak period traffic congestion and to promote smoother traffic flow while optimizing safety for motorists, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists. The alternatives have been the subject of numerous technical evaluations, public meetings, reports and public input sessions.
Alternatives 2 and 3 have been judged to best satisfy the project objectives with Alternative 2, the district’s proposed action, to include a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Highway 50 and Lake Parkway (near MontBleu and Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course). Alternatives to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Report are available online at http://www.TahoeTransportation.org.
A public scoping period of 44 days to solicit views of interested persons and organizations will conclude Dec. 16.
Comments and contact information can be e-mailed to Carl Hasty, TTD District Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the environmental process under review, a start date for construction has yet to be determined; however, the earliest is estimated for summer 2015.
“The new Highway 50 project becomes a win for the city, the South Shore community, visitors, workers, the environment and the Lake,” said district Project Manager Alfred Knotts.